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Moving Target: Osama bin Laden

Sunday, 10 February 2002 12:00 AM

Bolstering the Bodansky theory: "There isn’t any doubt in my mind but that the porous border between Iran and Afghanistan has been used for al-Qaeda and Taliban to move into Iran,” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently told ABC news.

Also bolstering the theory, the Christian Science Monitor reported that a man claiming to be a chef for Osama bin Laden said his boss, after leaving Afghanistan for Pakistan, has since traveled into Iran.

Last week an unmanned CIA Predator drone scored a direct hit on a group in a compound near Zawar Kili, Afghanistan. According to officials, among those incinerated was a man similar in appearance to bin Laden or his top deputy, Avman Al Zawahiri.

Also last week former Taliban foreign minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil turned himself in -- a potential intelligence bonanza on the whereabouts of both Taliban chief Mulla Omar and bin Laden.

Yossef maintained that as early as 1996, bin Laden was actively planning a World War against the U.S. and even then inaugurated extensive and sophisticated relocation plans. "Bin Laden is implementing one of those plans now,” he concluded.

Despite reports to the contrary, Bodansky is also convinced that bin Laden is relatively healthy, having resolved his reputed kidney afflictions in 1998.

Rather than disparage U.S. intelligence shortcomings, Bodansky attributed the failure to capture the world’s most wanted man to three fundamental characteristics of the man: He is a "formidable foe, who thinks ahead, and is dedicated to his goals.”

Adding to this, said Bodansky, is the fact that "resistant and rugged” terrorist cells around the world aid and abet the fugitive.

After years and the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars, the U.S. still has not tracked down Osama bin Laden.

In its wanted poster, the Federal Bureau of Investigation describes the celebrated fugitive as using the aliases: Usama Bin Muhammad, Bin Ladin, Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin, the Prince, the Emir, Abu Abdallah, Mujahid Shaykh, and Hajj.

The world’s most wanted man was born in 1957 in Saudi Arabia. His eyes and hair are brown, his complexion olive, his weight 160 pounds, and his build thin. According to the FBI, bin Laden is left-handed, walks with a cane, and has no known marks or scars.

But what the FBI poster description of the "6-foot-4-inch to 6-foot-7-inch” fugitive does not note is that according to confidents, the fugitive has most of his adult life habitually traveled with his four wives and 18 children.

And if this fact alone does not give the fugitive a broad imprint on the countryside, he is reputed to move around not only with his huge family in tow, but he characteristically receives a constant stream of visitors from all over the world.

George Tenet, the director of central intelligence, told Congress last week he is uncertain whether Osama bin Laden is still living.

Presently, about 50 U.S. troops from the 101st Airborne Division are combing the ground at the scene of the latest Predator drone missile attack, but Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the powerful anti-tank weapon, may have left slim forensic evidence behind.

"They may have to gather small evidence and bring it back and see if it could be evaluated,” Meyers said.

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Bolstering the Bodansky theory: There isn't any doubt in my mind but that the porous border between Iran and Afghanistan has been used for al-Qaeda and Taliban to move into Iran," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently told ABC news. Also bolstering the theory, the...
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2002-00-10
Sunday, 10 February 2002 12:00 AM
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